Some years ago, I had occasion to witness their 'Custom Shop's' so-called quality.
We received @ 16 NEW Remington 40Xs in .308 (actually 7.62 NATO) Of the original 16, about 1/2 were actually servicable. Of those, most had barrel channels that had to be relieved to allow the barrel to free float. Two had receivers that were in a bind.
The grand prize went to the one whose bolt WOULD NOT OPEN!!! Yup, the bolt was stuck. All reasonable attempts failed, & the armorer began to remove the action from the stock. The bolt then opened.........and a funny little circular indentation was etched on the underside of the bolt head. When the receiver scews were backed all the way out, the reason became apparent - the 'custom shop' had reversed the receiver screws - and ran the front screw all the way INTO the bottom of the bolt, causing it to lock shut.
Now that is bad, but it gets worse. Like all 40Xs, they included a test target, it was something under 3/4 MOA or so. Now, I may not be the sharpest tack in the toolbox, so you tell me:
HOW DO YOU SHOOT A 5-SHOT TEST GROUP THROUGH A RIFLE WHOSE BOLT WILL NOT OPEN????????????
What does that say for the credibility of their shop at that time?
They actually shot OK over their service lives once fairly extensive modification of a supposedly custom gun was accomplished. A later batch of 12 did not require as much work. It shouldn't have to come to that, but that was the reality.
Sorry, end of rant.
Speed, please do NOT apologize for your "rant." That's why we are here, to learn from each other. Any information is welcome information, even if I didn't want to hear it. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
As for the stuck bolt on the 40X, I was aware of that one. I did some bedding and trigger work to a friend's 700 ADL in the venerable '06 caliber and low and behold. when tightening up the front action screw nice and proper, I encountered the same thing.....BUT on a 40X!!!! [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img] Lets see, pay five times more and get the same quality. I'm sad to hear it. [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img] Maybe I need a heavy barreled Savage to play with. At least they incorporate a 1/10 twist into their .308 Win for the 190 grainers.
I'm not going to run Big Green down, as I have 2 guns on their action.A 6mm and a 6-284 The action is great massive locking lugs its stiff and Beds well. But the fact is since they were bought out and moved south the emphisis is on profit. I've been told that they are buying thier barrels from offshore for about $8.50 each. Now what kind of quality control can you get for $8.50? On the other hand Savage is the only maker left using button rifled barrels, and the neet headspace nut. In 5 years I haven't sold and sighted in a M-110 or 10 that wouldn't shoot under 1min with some (usally several) brand of factory load. [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img]
Well, just my personal experiences, and I'm not the guru that some of these guys are, so take it for what its worth.
The first Remington centerfire gun I had was a 788 in .223 I got in high school. Shooting cheap Ultramax 55gr SP ammo, it would shoot about 3/4" avg @100yds. Sometimes a little less, some times a bit more. Had more problems due to cheap scopage than anything else. Always regret getting rid of that gun. I remember thinking that if this is their el-cheapo gun, wow! This was about 1990 or so.
My second Remington Centerfire was a 700VS in .223 Rem, but it was part of a limited run made for a dealer, w/ a 20" barrel vs the standard 26" (pre-LTR days). Initial groups were occasionally below 1/2", but honest average was somewhere more around 0.7-0.8, even w/ handloads. Somewhere down the road, I tried going from a Leupold 1-piece base to a two piece Weaver style base. Found out that apparently some idgit couldn't drill 4 holes in a straight line, as I had to use all my windage in my scope to compensate for the offset btwn the front and rear bases. Back to the Leupold bases w/ rear-windage adjustable rings. The other lingering headache w/ this gun deals w/ ejection/extraction. It would routinely not eject the brass from the gun, as it would hit the inside wall of the chamber hard enough to a) dent the case mouth worse than my AR, and b) jar it loose from the extractor. A Holland ejector spring fixed most of the denting problem, but ejection is still unreliable on it. Not enthused about a Sako or AR type extractor, which is what has been suggested as a 'fix'. This gun was circa about 1998.
Next Remington was the gun I'd always wanted: a 40XB-KS in .220 Swift. I'd never been able to talk myself into sending off $1800+ to Remington, and then waiting for a long time for the gun to show up. So when I found one on a dealer's table in a gunshow in western Nebraska, I jumped on it. $1450 or so later (sold two good trap shotguns to raise the cash), I was the proud owner of my 'dream' gun. The test target showed about 0.45" groups. Not bad, but I figured w/ some good handloads, I should be able to smoke that easily. Turns out this was my first run in w/ Remingtons exceptionally long throats in some of their newer guns. Had to be selective about which bullets I loaded, or they would literally fall out of the case before reaching the lands. Also, the front recoil lug was solid-bedded, to the point you could take the action screws out, turn the gun upside down (over a bed or couch, lets not get stupid here) and shake. Hard. The only way to get the barreled action free was to wiggle the barrel until it dropped out. Eventually relieved a small amount of the kevlar stock material on the front and sides of the lug, which made disassembly considerably easier. As far as load development, I tried literally everything I could come up w/, over the period of about 800rds, and never did get a load to *consistently* average less than 0.5". Disappointing, to say the least, considering the premium price tag. I had some paint strip off the stock almost immediately after receiving it, and recently sent it back to McMillan to get refinished in anticipation of a future sale. This gun was purchased NIB about Y2K.
The most recent Remington centerfire I have is another Remington 700VS in .308 Winchester. Let me pre-stage this one a bit by saying that one of the local benchrest cranks talked me into getting my .223 700VS 'skim-bedded' since in his experience, the vaunted aluminum bedding blocks usually were mass produced to about the same tolerances as everything else. The .223 became an pretty regular 0.5" performer @ 100yds almost immediately. Still some disappointing groups further out, but that may be the shooter [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] So when I got the .308, it went straight from counter to the back room where the gunsmith did the same skim-bedding job. Afterwards he grumbled about how he should have charged full-price for bedding the stock, as it and the other both had pillar blocks so far off he had to use almost as much bedding material as if they weren't even there. The .308 was broken in, and upon subsequent load development, it was discovered that a 175gr Sierra MatchKing seated to 2.810", standard magazine length, had to jump over 155 thousandths, i.e. over 1/8", to reach the lands. Amazingly, it still shot well. In fact, it is the best shooting rifle I currently have. Sub half-moa groups are not uncommon w/ the gun, as long as I can hold that steady. I asked around, and was told that the reason for the long throat (from people who had already tried getting Remington to fix theirs), was more lawyer-proofing: so if some nitwit tried firing a 220gr round-nose in a heavy-barreled target gun, it would clear the rifling upon chambering. Maybe so, but it pretty much hoses shooting 125-155gr bullets, as they have ungodly leaps to the rifling. Pretty much a mixed bag on this gun; it is phenomenonally accurate for an out of the box gun, even w/ a bedding job, in my opinion, but it has some serious warts from my view point. One of these being an overly stout ejector that caused problems similar to the .223 gun, and was fixed the same way w/ a Holland ejector spring. This gun was purchased about March 2002.
In the end, all my Remington centerfire bolt guns would shoot sub MOA groups w/ good handloads, and minimal tinkering. Some were extremely disappointing investments, and most, except for the 788, had some lingering annoyance. Both the 788, and another 'old-style' 700 BDL in .243 that I load for, work flawlessly, w/o any of the issues listed above, for considerably less money.
I for one am starting to investigate using other actions as the basis for any new gun I purchase/build. Not saying that Remington is the only one w/ problems today, and for $8.50 (I'd heard $15 myself) they still make a reasonably good barrel for that much money [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
Ya know, it just might be [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
I'm planning a trip for prairie dogs this summer, and I've been thinking about selling/trading this gun towards either a CZ 527 Varmint laminate, or a Savage 12BVSS in .223 Rem.
It has an adjustable Graco buttplate, so the LOP can be set rather long (the way I use it now), or cranked in for shorter than avg. folk. I don't have any pictures handy, but I might be able to rustle something up in a couple days (I need to get around to taking some pictures for insurance, anyways.)
The last new model 700 I bought had a bit of a problem. When I got it home and tried to unscrew the allen head action screws the front one seemed to be frozen in place. I bent a cheap allen wrench trying to get it unstuck. At that point I figured I had better take it to a gunsmith before I broke something expensive. He was able to get it loose but the front screw had been crossthreaded on installation at the factory. I don't have a clue as to how you could do such a thing on purpose. A new front action screw and a bit of work with a bottoming tap and it was fixed.